Fun facts about this year’s Academy Awards [SLIDESHOW]

This year’s Oscars has some interesting twists, beyond the usual drama surrounding the awards themselves.

Susan King of the LA Times compiled a number of fun facts that add a little spice to the ceremony, and will even more so if certain actors and films emerge victorious. From a lead actor who could become the third in the category to win two years in a row to the influx of childhood stars all grown up and ready to win little gold men, here are some tidbits that will making watching the Oscars infinitely more entertaining.

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  • Composer Randy Newman picks up his 20th Oscar nomination for his original song, "We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3." He won the original song Oscar for "If I Didn't Have You" from 2001's "Monsters, Inc." (LAT)
  • Besides 14-year-old supporting actress nominee Hailee Steinfeld, several of this year's acting nominees began their careers as child or teenage actors, including Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Christian Bale, Nicole Kidman, Helena Bonham Carter and Bridges.
  • Scott Rudin, with "The Social Network" and "True Grit," becomes the first producer since 1974 to have two films in the best picture race. Francis Ford Coppola and Fred Roos did it with "The Godfather 2" and "The Conversation." (LAT)
  • Before "Black Swan," only two films set in the world of ballet had been nominated for the best film Oscar — 1948's "The Red Shoes" and 1977's "The Turning Point." (LAT)
  • Joel and Ethan Coen's remake of the western "True Grit" earned 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture. The original 1969 version of the film received only two nominations — lead actor for John Wayne, who won the award, and best song. (LAT)
  • Two lead performer nominees — Jesse Eisenberg, 27, ("The Social Network") and Jennifer Lawrence, 20, ("Winter's Bone") — would be the youngest ever to win in their categories. Adrien Brody holds the record for youngest lead actor for his win for 2002's "The Pianist" at age 29; Marlee Matlin was 21 when she won lead actress for 1986's "Children of a Lesser God." (LAT)
  • Jeff Bridges, who won the lead actor Oscar last year for "Crazy Heart," is up in the same category for his performance as Rooster Cogburn in "True Grit." Only two actors have won Academy Awards in the lead actor category two years in a row — Spencer Tracy won for 1937's "Captains Courageous" and 1938's "Boy's Town," and Tom Hanks earned Oscars for 1993's "Philadelphia" and 1994's "Forrest Gump" (LAT)
  • If Colin Firth wins for lead actor for his role as King George VI in "The King's Speech," he will be the first actor to win playing a king of England since Charles Laughton in 1932-33's "The Private Life of Henry VIII." (LAT)